Darnold not bitter over Mayfield trade, welcomes competition

He says he believes the competition will be a good thing for the team.
Sam Darnold
Sam Darnold(WBTV)
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 4:24 PM EDT
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — If Sam Darnold is bitter about the Carolina Panthers’ decision to trade for Baker Mayfield, he’s doing a great job of hiding his feelings. Darnold said Tuesday he welcomes the competition at quarterback.

He says he believes the competition will be a good thing for the team.

“They’re going to do whatever they feel like is best for the team to win ballgames this year,” Darnold said. “If that’s me bringing in Baker and us competing with each other for the starting job, then that’s the best thing for the team.”

Mayfield was drafted No. 1 overall in 2018 by Cleveland, but his relationship with the Browns deteriorated quickly this offseason following their pursuit of Deshaun Watson. Mayfield was traded to Carolina on July 6 for a conditional fifth-round 2024 draft pick.

Coach Matt Rhule views the quarterback situation as an open competition as the Panthers prepare to begin practice on Wednesday.

Rhule said he wasn’t ready to discuss how he plans to divide up reps at practice until after he has a chance to meet with his quarterbacks. Nor would he put a timetable on when he hopes to announce a starter.

“Anytime you put timelines on things, you end up rushing to make bad decisions,” Rhule said. “To me this is about being in the moment but not making rash judgements. Guys are going to have good days and bad days. When we know, we know.”

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